Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2016 (325 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
To pray or not to pray
Re: Putting faith in human rights complaint (Sept. 29)
The article deals with the complaint over prayers at city hall. This issue can be solved simply by having a silent moment of appreciation for what we have. This would open city council meetings on a more positive note.
Regarding atheist Tony Governo, who regards prayer to be "like nails on a chalkboard" — perhaps he could enter the room after it was said or wear earplugs.
What about the human rights of the Winnipeg city councillors to follow their practice of prayer?
Tony Governo says, "I dread that word (prayer)." Everyone dreads and fears something; for example, flying, but no one has the right to remove flying as a mode of transportation.
"Freedom of religion" implies there are beliefs other than yours that you have to tolerate, just as others tolerate your beliefs.
"Prayer should be called a pledge." A prayer is a prayer and a pledge is a pledge, just as a request is a request and an oath is an oath. You cannot call one by the name of the other.
Just whose rights does Tony Governo think are being infringed by Winnipeg city council starting its meetings with a prayer?
Do city council members not have the right to initiate their meeting with an entreaty to God for guidance and wisdom (something that’s often sorely lacking) as they exercise their elected duty?
Prayer, in whatever form it may take, is part of our culture, and I suggest neither Tony Governo nor anyone else has any right to deny concurring city council members this long-standing tradition.
If you want to change the rules, get elected and work on what you think is appropriate as a participant, otherwise I suggest you respect the rights of our city councillors to follow their tradition.
How does their moment of a plea for guidance offend or adversely affect your rights?
If you find it harsh on your ears, get your ears fixed to become more tolerant of others, rather than trying to impose your view on council and the rest of us who support the tradition. Just because others have succumbed to the minority pressure, it doesn’t compel our city council to do likewise.
Try doing something useful for society rather than simply trying to impose your small-minded view on the rest of us.
If it really needs to be done, it could be addressed as a plebiscite question at general election time.
J. Hugh McMorrow
So am I to understand an atheist named Tony Governo experiences mental agony for a period of about five minutes during the prayer at every city council meeting?
That, to me, is the very definition of a First World problem. Meanwhile, a woman in the Third World makes a 20-kilometre journey 365 days a year on foot to bring clean drinking water to her children so they can survive for another 24 hours. That is a Third World problem, and it is a wee bit tougher than Mr. Governo’s problem.
And what group would Mr. Governo and the rest of those who call themselves humanists, atheists and agnostics guess is doing the hard work of trying to give love and comfort and supplies to the Third World, and have been doing it thanklessly for the last several decades? That would be the Christians.
I am a Christian, and I will give some love to Mr. Governo with a simple solution to his dire problem: he can buy sound-cancelling earphones and put them on during the prayer that so upsets him. If he is a lip reader, he can buy a blindfold, too.
You’re welcome, Mr. Governo, and I think I will say a prayer for you.
It can happen here
Re: The end of political civility (Sept. 28)
Your editorial rails on Trump about his "poor me" routine and states "he’s suckered an entire segment of the American population."
It is postulated, "It’s easy to watch the presidential election from the cheap seats, eating Skittles and being more than smug that this couldn’t happen in Canada."
However, assuming Manitoba is still part of Canada, all of this has already happened in Canada. Where have you been the last 10 years of NDP rule? Manitoba voters have been "suckered" by Gary Doer and Greg Selinger into an impossible debt load, largely through bullying Manitoba Hydro.
Data from the last election and the slant of many Free Press editorials and articles (particularly the one a couple of weeks back heaping praise on Doer) and all the negative ones about Pallister indicates one out of three Manitobans and the Free Press do not yet understand how badly we’ve been "suckered," or, if you like, "trumped" or "doered-in."
There are no "cheap seats" anymore in Manitoba because it will take decades to dig ourselves out of the debt built up starting with Doer’s bad decisions with respect to the placement of Bipole III and the building of large dams before they are needed.
Our debt is much more than reported because building facilities before they are needed keeps employment numbers high at the expense of employment opportunities for our children and grandchildren in the future. In other words, we have "borrowed" jobs from future generations of Manitobans who will be faced with massive debt and fewer jobs.
With respect to Trump’s "poor me" routine, as you suggest, it is fictional. Unfortunately for Manitobans, our debt is real. There is certainly no reason for Manitobans to feel smug about our financial future, nor any immunity to being snookered by politicians.
Kenneth M. Adam
Dog should be permitted in condo
Re: Dog dispute (Sept. 28)
My anger boils over when I hear of such injustice as Alzheimer’s patient Donna Davidson’s fight to keep her service dog in her condo. Owning several condos, I know how overbearing and obnoxious these boards can be, but I also understand why they disallow noisy pets.
A service dog, by nature, is always docile and never unruly.
The condo board is out to lunch when it calls into question the legitimacy of the animal as a service dog. How do they arrive at their misguided interpretation? What guidelines are they using to define a "service dog?"
Instead of dragging out trivial and frivolous arguments, I say to them: "Grow up!"
Harry S. Anchan
Mansion should be preserved
Re: Neighbours fear for mansion’s fate (Sept. 29)
Typical of this city to even think of letting any company demolish a beautiful historic mansion, 514 Wellington Cres., to make way for yet another block of condos.
We have enough ugly concrete box buildings in and around the Crescentwood area already. If our heritage and historic building are constantly being destroyed, there will be nothing left of Winnipeg’s history to speak about to future generations. These lovely old buildings are what makes a city interesting, not glass and concrete.
The reason people travel to Europe is to soak up the history and learn about the people who lived in the times gone by. Soon there will be nothing to tell about Winnipeg.
Questioning CPP overhaul
Recently, there have been articles on the CPP increase, especially about the further enrichment of the public sector, which is in a league of its own when it comes to income and retirement security, something rarely available in the private sector because of the fact the taxpayer is not required to fund this luxury.
What is missing in the process of the CPP enhancement is the additional cost to the taxpayer.
Government is the largest employer in this country and in most cases, both provincially and civic, the employer portion of the CPP enhancement (funded by the taxpayer) will eventually cost billions of dollars over time. Well done!